Given that we have now bid a fond farewell to the London 2012 Olympics, it somehow seems the perfect time for the release of the latest film by Chinese director [...]
Michael McIntyre and Steven Murphy of Carleton University and Bernard Funston of Northern Canada Consulting in Ottawa, and Canada, suggest that the resources required to sustain human life are being degraded perhaps to the point of no return. They suggest that now is the time for collective action; we must take a long, hard look at the notion of economic growth and development, and re-examine humanity’s choices that encompass a fundamental shift in how we measure economic success, productivity and human happiness.
Given the West’s propensity to measure success in terms of economic growth, we seem to have produced a political environment that has a zero-tolerance for slow or negative growth. We somehow imagine that only with growth will our world, our nations, and our citizens be happy. And yet rising pollution levels, environmental degradation, resource depletion, industrial disasters and the failure of financiers seems to be plunging us into a quagmire of misery. If we consider the Earth to be a closed system in terms of materials (rather than energy), then thermodynamically endless growth was always destined to be something of an oxymoron.
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About the Author: David Bradley has worked in science communication for more than twenty years. After reading chemistry at university, he worked and travelled in the USA, did a stint in a QA/QC lab and then took on a role as a technical editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Then, following an extended trip to Australia, he returned and began contributing as a freelance to the likes of New Scientist and various trade magazines. He has been growing his portfolio and and has constructed the Sciencebase Science News and the Sciencetext technology website. He also runs the SciScoop Science Forum which is open to guest contributors on scientific topics.